Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 1.djvu/131

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ACHOR
AHCRIDA
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sixth to the twelfth century, which permitted in monastic government such peculiar subordination. He is the patron of the diocese, and his feast is celebrated on 9 August. His successors made use of his monastery-church as their cathedral, and traces of it may still be seen. The diocese was formerly sometimes called Leyney from one of its largest and most important baronies, or perhaps because it was coextensive with what is still known as the barony of Leyney. Additions were made to it at different periods until its boundaries were finally fixed in the twelfth century. It now includes some of Roscommon, a considerable part of Mayo, and the greater part of Sligo. At the important Synod of Kells, held in March, 1152, presided over by Cardinal Paparo, and attended by the Bishop of Lismore, then Apostolic Delegate, by twenty other bishops, and by many inferior clergy, the Diocese of Achonry was represented by its bishop, Melruan O'Ruadhan. Its diocesan limits were then fixed, and it was made suffragan to Tuam. From that date the catalogue of its bishops is less fragmentary. Of the three Irish bishops who were members of the Council of Trent, one was Eugene O'Hart, Bishop of Achonry. He is described in the records of the Council as a "professor of Theology and a learned and distinguished ecclesiastic", and had been a Dominican of Sligo Abbey. He took a prominent part in its deliberations, and left on all its members a deep impression of his zeal and learning. From the death of Dr. O'Hart in 1603, except for a brief interval of four years (1641–45), there was no bishop until 1707, and the diocese was governed by vicars-apostolic. Achonry is one of the most Catholic dioceses in the world. The total population, according to the latest census (1901) is 82,795, of which 2,242 are non-Catholics, so that 97.3 percent of the whole are Catholics. Achonry has twenty-two parishes, twenty of which have parish priests with full canonical rights; the remaining two are mensal parishes of the bishop. There are 51 priests in the diocese, and though at one period of its history Achonry was studded with religious houses, it has at the present time no regular clergy. There are 7 congregations of religious sisters: 3 of the Irish Sisters of Charity, 2 of the Sisters of Mercy, 1 of the Sisters of St. Louis, and 1 of the Marist Sisters. The Christian Brothers have a house in Ballaghaderreen and the Marist Brothers one in Swineford. Full provision is made for the education of the young. In addition to the episcopal seminary with five professors there are day schools under the nuns and brothers and 201 schools under lay teachers. There is besides a boarding-school for young ladies conducted by the Sisters of St. Louis. There are also under the charge of the nuns 2 industrial and 7 technical schools. Since the accession of Dr. M. Nicholas in 1818, the bishop resides in Ballaghaderreen. The cathedral, a very fine Gothic building, erected at great expense by Dr. Durcan, has been completed by the present bishop, Dr. Lyster, by the addition of a magnificent tower and spire. Within the last fifty years many new churches, some very beautiful, have been built, old ones renovated, houses supplied for the clergy, convents established, and schools provided.

Gams, Series episcop. Eccl. cath. (1873), I, 204, 234 (1886), II, 64; Brady, Episcopal Succession in England, Scotland, and Ireland (Rome, 1876); Lanigan, Eccl. Hist. of Ireland (Dublin, 1829), I, 345; Lewis, Topographical Hist. of Ireland (London, 1837), 6; Burke, History of the Archbishops of Tuam (Dublin, 1882); Annals of the Four Masters (ed. O'Donovan, Dublin, 1658), VII, s. v., Achadh Chonnaire.

Achor Valley, the scene of the death of the "troubler" Achan, with whom its name is associated (Jos., vii, 26). Osee foretells the time when this gloomy, ill-omened valley will be for an "opening of hope" to the returning exiles of Israel (Os., ii, 15); another prophet pictures it, in the same glorious future, transformed into a "place for the herds to lie down in" (Is., lxv, 10). It was on the north boundary of Juda, leading past Jericho to the Jordan (Jos., xv, 7). It is commonly identified with the modern Wady-el-Kelt and is usually written Akor.

Achrida, A titular see in Upper Albania, the famous metropolis and capital of the medieval kingdom of Bulgaria, now the little village of Ochrida, on the Lake of Ochrida, the ancient Lacus Lychnitis, whose blue and exceedingly transparent waters in remote antiquity gave to the lake its Greek name. The city was known in antiquity as Lychnidus and was so called occasionally in the Middle Ages. In the conflicts of the Illyrian tribes with Rome it served the former as a frontier outpost and was later one of the principal points on the great Roman highway known as the via Egnatiana. Its first known bishop was Zosimus (c. 344). In the sixth century it was destroyed by an earthquake (Procop., Hist. Arcana, xv), but was rebuilt by Justinian (527–565), who was born in the vicinity, and is said to have been called by him Justiniana Prima, i.e. the most important of the several new cities that bore his name. Duchesne, however, says that this honour belongs to Scupi (Uskub), another frontier town of Illyria (Les églises séparées, Paris, 1856, 240). The new city was made the capital of the prefecture, or department, of Illyria, and for the sake of political convenience it was made also the ecclesiastical capital of the Illyrian or Southern Danubian parts of the empire (Southern Hungary, Bosnia, Servia, Transylvania, Rumania). Justinian was unable to obtain immediately for this step a satisfactory approbation from Pope Agapetus or Pope Silverius. The Emperor's act, besides being a usurpation of ecclesiastical authority, was a detriment to the ancient rights of Thessalonica as representative of the Apostolic See in the Illyrian regions. Nevertheless, the new diocese claimed, and obtained in fact, the privilege of autocephalia, or independence, and through its long and chequered history retained, or struggled to retain, this character. Pope Vigilius, under pressure from Justinian, recognized the exercise of patriarchal rights by the Metropolitan of Justiniana Prima within the broad limits of its civil territory, but Gregory the Great treated him as no less subject than other Illyrian bishops to the Apostolic See (Duchesne, op. cit., 233–237). The inroads of the Avars and Slavs in the seventh century brought about the ruin of this ancient Illyrian centre of religion and civilization, and for two centuries its metropolitan character was in abeyance. But after the conversion of the new Bulgarian masters of Illyria (864) the see rose again to great prominence, this time under the name of Achrida (Achris). Though Greek missionaries were the first to preach the Christian Faith in this region, the first archbishop was sent by Rome. It was thence also that the Bulgarians drew their first official instruction and counsel in matters of Christian faith and discipline, a monument of which may be seen in the Responsa ad Consulta Bulgarorum of Nicholas I (858–867), one of the most influential of medieval canonical documents (Mansi, xv, 401; Hefele, Concilieng., iv, 346 sq.). However, the Bulgarian King (Car) Bogaris was soon won over by Greek influence. In the Eighth General Council held at Constantinople (869) Bulgaria was incorporated with the Byzantine patriarchate, and in 870 the Latin missionaries were expelled. Henceforth Greek metropolitans preside in Achrida; it was made the political capital of the Bulgarian kingdom and profited by the tenth- century conquests of its warlike rulers so that it became the metropolitan of several Greek dioceses